Drought conditions have significantly reduced water levels in the Panama Canal, leading shippers to pay exorbitant fees to expedite their vessels through the waterway.
ecently, one vessel had to pay $2.4 million, besides a transit fee of approximately $400,000 to get a slot permit for its carrier to traverse the channel faster, according to Avance Gas Holding.
A queue of vessels has been rising in recent months as drought indicates less water to fill the canal locks.
On 21st August, Panama Canal has limited daily transfers in order to ensure safe operation. This limitation has led to over 200 ships stuck on the sides of the Canal, waiting to cross the crucial waterway.
This resulted in fewer ships transiting and being loaded with less cargo — all of this has added to the backlog at a waterway that handles over half a billion tons of cargo yearly.